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Parenting with Anxiety and Depression

I don’t like to talk about this stuff.  I’ve written posts like this a hundred times over the years—but I never hit publish. But let’s rip off the bandaid and chat anyway, shall we? Parenting is hard at all levels and in all stages. Sometimes we do hard things because they are hard. The rewards are worth it. Parenting is like that.   

Parenting with a psychological dysfunction? Terrifying.

parenting with depression and anxiety Nashville Moms Blog mental illness

For me, this means a cocktail of ADD, depression, and anxiety. For you, it may be a different battle. Either way, it is sometimes hard to breathe with the extra weight of it all.  

Nearly daily, I wonder if I’m ruining my children. This is not the sharp reply or frazzled appearance or frozen pizza dinners that we associate with normal “mommy guilt.” Instead, I wonder if they will have what I have. I watch my toddler hit himself when he gets in trouble. That self-loathing? I know it so well. I know—with such familiarity—the ache of wanting so badly to be good—to do the good things, to follow the rules. And then all the self-doubt when I just can’t. I didn’t mean to. I just couldn’t.  

If this is his world? It is my fault.  

I worry about my tendency to hyper-focus. How do I stay hyper-vigilant over my two toddlers when my brain is telling me the disorganized pantry must be reorganized this very minute and nothing else matters—or will matter again—until it is done? I don’t want to hyper-focus. I want to pay attention to the things that deserve attention. But sometimes I just can’t. 

And if someone gets hurt during these moments? It will be my fault.  

I worry about my anger. So many people think depression is just sadness. And sometimes it really is the world’s most unproductive meaningless gloom. But sometimes it’s anger. Usually it’s apathy. I want to care. Or I want to want to care. But I just can’t.  

Maybe medication is the answer. I have made it so far without it. But lately? I find myself losing my grip on sanity.  I clutch at my “truths” — the things I tell myself at the lowest of the low. Repeating them. They are my lifeboats until my feet are firmly back on shore.

Sometimes that’s a few weeks. Sometimes it is agonizingly long months. There’s no predictability.  

Is there a point to this? I honestly don’t know. Maybe I’m just admitting to myself that it’s time to get help. For sure, I’m telling you that you aren’t alone. Maybe you need help too.

Perhaps it doesn’t have to be so terrifying.  Maybe there are answers.

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